Archive for November, 2008

Girl Torque – December 2008

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Well girls talk about a technical lunch….we were infiltrated by the boys….really it was because we had Peter and Jean Boxall down from Hervey Bay for lunch… was great to catch up with them and share our Nationals stories.

Just a reminder that the January meeting is our coffee and gelato night – we leave the fella’s at the clubrooms for their informal meeting and we go off down King William Road to Cibo (maybe I should not have disclosed the details or they will come too!)

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very safe and happy festive season?

Margie Berlemon

Competition Report – December 2008

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

The Victorian Circuit Racing Championships have concluded for another year, and our own Tom Hutchinson (TR8) has finished a very creditable 5th place for the season. Congratulations Tom!

Neil Martin took part in the Austin 7 Club Regularity event held at Mallala on Nov. 9th where he continued to learn more about his TR7V8 (ex- Bob and Natalie Farrell) whilst posting very respectable and consistent times in the 1:34 range. Neil placed third in two on the runs for the day and is looking forward to next year’s regularity and sprint events.

Trevor Lindsay (GT6) and I competed in the last SA Championship race meeting for the year, held as a twilight event, at Mallala on Saturday Nov. 15. The conditions were perfect – cool and with slight breeze. The racing programme was full, with the two GT6’s entered in Sports Cars /Sports Saloons and Tarmac Rally Cars. They looked tiny when lined up against Chris Smerdon’s ex Stone Bros Falcon, lots of Porsches, a couple of HSV Commodores, a Nissan Sylvia etc.

Trevor qualified 9th and Roger 11th in a field of 17 cars. Race 1 was action packed, with Trevor getting a great start to mix it with a few of the Porsches finishing the 6 lap race in 6th place, with Roger coming in 10th. Trevor was off to a great start again in Race 2 but was black flagged mid race because of a suspected fuel leak. This turned out to be a simple problem with an easy solution, but it meant that Trevor finished back in the field for the start of race three. I had a bit of brain fade and gave myself a drive through penalty by following Trevor and a couple of other cars into pit lane thinking that I had missed a direction from the face officials. I hadn’t, but that action also placed me towards the rear of the field for the next race.

Race 3 had Trevor in P12 and Roger alongside in P11 in a reduced field of 15. Trev finished 8th and Roger 9th in this night time race, Trevor mixing it again with the Porsches thankfully avoiding any serious panel damage (unlike the pesky Porsches that he mixed with).

I found out something about night racing that I will be better prepared for next time. I have a shift light installed in my GT6. It helps me know when to change gear without paying really close attention to the Tacho. The shift light is very bright so that it is clearly visible in the day time. It is however, like a spot light at night, so when I had exceeded the ideal gear change revs in top gear (this happens three times around the Mallala circuit) I was blinded and couldn’t see a thing. This meant that it took me the best part of 6 of the 8 laps to get around a Holden Torana that I should have gotten past in the first lap. Thoroughly good fun though!

The Classic Adelaide Rally was concluded just yesterday as I write this, and it was another outstanding success. There were a number of Triumphs running, with the bright yellow TR7V8 of Ian Wilson placing in the top three consistently for the four day event. Ian is very ably guided by partner and navigator Jahmeil Taylor and finished the event in third place, only to be excluded from the results due to a post event scrutineer deeming the front sub-frame of the car to not meet the regulations. On checking the Supp Regs later, Ian believes that the car does comply, and will take the matter up with the Rally Officials. Disappointingly, the 3rd Place Trophy was awarded to Jim Richards.  Never-the-less, this was a tremendous performance by Ian and Jahmeil, and it was great to see a Triumph in the leading bunch of this world class event. We are all proud of your achievement Ian and Jahmeil, and share your bitter disappointment with the outcome.

Others to take part in the 2008 Classic Adelaide included the Fisher / Twycross TR7V8 (finished 42nd) and the Webb / Webb entry that unfortunately did not reach the finish. The Rochester’s from Queensland placed 33rd in the Classic section in their TR3A so well done to them. Also taking part in the Thoroughbred Touring section was the Trotter / Veale team in a TR7V8 – when I spoke with them at Victor Harbor, they were all smiles.

TSOA member Bruno Franchi took part in the Rally as co-driver in an Alpha Romeo that unfortunately rolled on the last day of competition. Not a nice way to end the Rally and we hope that Bruno and his driver escaped with minimal personal injury.

The last event that any of our members may have an interest in is the Austin 7 Club Regularity scheduled for Dec 7th. And that’s it for 2008!

The MSCA picnic Presentation Day at Peter Lehmann’s Winery is scheduled for Sunday 15th February (one week after the All British Day) and this will provide TSOA with another early 2009 function to support and enjoy. If you have any ideas for a club display theme, contact me and put your thoughts forward. TSOA has won two of the last three club display awards, and it would be great to take it out again.

That’s enough from me . . . . see you trackside!


Aussie Barn Find

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Have a look at and you will find the amazing collection of our own Clive and Liz Hill.


An American Restoration Tale

Monday, November 17th, 2008

I met and became friends with Rob Duncan way back in the 70’s when Rob and family lived here in Adelaide for a number of years. They returned to Oregon USA where Rob enjoyed success with his home and business security installation and monitoring business. Rob’s interests in automobiles goes way back to his youth – I have heard mention of a big Healey in his college days, and a short wheelbase V8 engined Jeep that was nicknamed “The Frog” because of the way it simply leaped away when the clutch was dropped. More recently, Rob has enjoyed Mercedes 560SL and a couple of Porsche’s, the current one being a hotted up version of a late 90’s twin turbo 911 Carrera.

Rob has retired from his business interests, and has always had an automobile restoration project in the back of his mind for when the time was right. Imagine my surprise when the project taken on was a Triumph Stag. Of all the cars he could have chosen, he chose a Stag – imagine that! Well, the project is now complete, and here is his story.


1971 Triumph Stag, VIN: LE2733LBW- A brief history.

Anne and I were visiting friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico a few years back. We drove over to their friend’s house for tea one day. Jack, the new friend, has a few acres, with a barn, and he is retired. Jack’s wife is a mobile home broker, so Jack takes advantage of this auction privilege to peruse collector automobile auctions, as well.

Jack’s collecting has been going on for several decades. It is, naturally, his dream to refurbish each of his treasures. In the barn they sit; except for the Stag. Jack enjoyed being the second owner and driving the Stag when he first bought it. He put a few thousand miles on it and then parked it, where it sat, for over twenty years.

New Mexico enjoys a very dry climate. As a consequence, what you park is what you get, years later, except for an incredible layer of added dust. I told Jack that if he ever decided to sell the Triumph, to let me know first. I would make him a good offer.

Late spring of `06 we drove to Albuquerque to once again visit our friends. While there, I insisted we have a visit to see Jack. I discovered that Jack had sold the 50’s Porsche, which he had claimed he was never going to do. Darn it! But, he still had the Stag. An offer was made, and a deal was struck. On the long drive north to Oregon I mused over how I was going to get the car home.

My neighbor, Jim, hadn’t been out of his digs for some time and agreed to ride shotgun with me in Big Red, my `94 GMC pickup, when I returned to New Mexico in July. Once there, I would rent a U-Haul trailer for the haul back. The trip down went well. Every few hundred miles we would find a hotel, buy a few tinny’s, and enjoy an evening out of the brutal S.W. heat.

Somewhere near Death Valley, California the truck’s AC went out. This meant that the rest of the drive would be with the windows down. We entered the Mojave Desert land’s 110F, tumble weeded highways. This part of the trip was not good. The trip to New Mexico took two and half days. We rested a few days before loading the Stag for the return trip.


With the windows down, off we went. We stopped when needed for fuel or food, but we just kept on. 24-hours later we drove into Medford. We had covered the 1618km trip without a break. During the night, however, we did roll the windows up a bit.

In `06 Anne and I lived in a condo. There was no place to park the Triumph. My son, Matt, had a cemented pad next to his garage and offered that as a place to park my new treasure. A new 10’x20’ vehicle storage tent served as my garage for the tear-down stages of the project during the winter of `06.

By spring of `07 I had stripped the car naked and had replaced all of the factory rubber, brakes, and fitted the car with GAZ adjustable shocks. The engine had been taken to a machine shop to do the necessary over-bore to clean up the cylinders. While there, I supplied the new Rimmer Bros’ parts to rebuild the bottom and top ends.

The car was ready to leave tent-land and go to the body shop for its much needed facial. I have known Doug, the body man, for many years through our joint interest in flying and through the work he has done for me on touching up my Porsches. Doug advises that the new paints won’t sit well on top the older ones and that the Stag will have to be taken down to the metal. Over the summer he would fit it in.

The year `07 found us moving from the 3-storey condo to a place in Flat-Land. The new home had a carport, but no garage. By late fall of the year, Doug had finished his work and the shiny new car was parked under the temporary shelter of the carport. It was too cold to work outdoors this season. So the Stag sat. It was during this winter period that I would lay awake at night trying to picture how all of the bits and pieces would fit back together.  Day by day the air began to warm. It was time to test my recall, and to drag out the photos when memory failed.

Construction of a new 3-car garage started in the spring of `08. During that time, I worked in the carport and reinstalled the engine, transmission, and the refinished dash assembly. Rimmer Bros to the rescue again – the seats were refitted with new vinyl covers and under-felt and carpeting was installed.

No new garage, for an auto hobbyist, is complete without an asymmetrical lift installed in the sunniest bay. The Stag had snug new digs for the remaining undercarriage work. Does the phrase, God-sent, have a new meaning?  By late August the car came to life. Albeit, not without some discoveries.

The factory AC compressor didn’t want to remount on the port side of the engine. Had I done something wrong? An email to Rimmer Bros cleared the air. Apparently it didn’t get into the sale’s script that the tubular sports manifold wouldn’t accommodate the factory air. So, out it came. This also meant I could remove the AC radiator and fan assembly. That cleaned up the front end a bit.

No one reads the Triumph web sites without coming away with nightmare stories about the Lucas electrical system. So, early on in my Rimmer Bros shopping, I invested in a Lumenition ignition kit. Gone were the rotor and the twin point contacts. Life with Lucas would be better.

The new plugs were gapped and the static timing was set. I had mounted a new set of SU carbs, in lieu of attempting a first time go at rebuilding the old ones. I hadn’t yet tweaked the trip pots. After a few hesitant, reflective moments, I turned the key. Crank, crank- nothing was happening. Matt suspected the distributor was 180 degrees off. He quickly provided a remedy fix for the problem. The engine then turned about four times and fired to life. Wow! Something had to be wrong with this picture. Two years later; this was too good to be true.

Meanwhile, on the starboard side of the engine, the new exhaust blocked removal of the oil pump and the oil transfer housing. During the normal life of a new engine, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, some aspect of the oil transfer housing’s o-ring hadn’t seated well and the engine had a small drip. The loss was not great, but what did come out dripped on the new stainless exhaust pipe and put up quite a stink, and a small cloud.

Now, a rebuild purist would have simply said, “The engine must be immediately removed”, but Rob said, “Let’s see how everything else goes, first.” A small flash of tin fitted between the oil filter and the exhaust pipe served to deflect the occasional drop of oil to the pavement, which is more properly where it should end up after its outing.


Roger Lange had told me there was nothing sweeter sounding than the rumbling, deep tonal quality of the Stag exhaust. On the couple of occasions when I have had someone else revving the engine, I have stood behind and admired his apt description. At all other times, I have found myself motoring with the window rolled down while hoping I would drive past a sound reflecting cement wall.
Yes, there’s a hard top, too. I just don’t care for the looks of it, compared to the ragtop. This winter I will install its new headliner and find an out-of-the-way resting place for it in the upper atmosphere of one of the garage bays. Now, what am I going to do next?

2008 Day of Triumph

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

The Day of Triumph was held at the Bonython Park Reserve which provided all the necessary facilities with plenty of shade in a central location.

The attendance of 30 cars was down on last year and very disappointing particularly in the Concours section with only 8 entrants.

Carolyn Byrne’s Herald won the Masters Section.

The outright Concours winner was John Sampson in his TR6 with John Tuohy in his Saloon coming second, Harold Prince and Richard Sutherland tied for third place.

A special President’s trophy was awarded to Bob Cini for his efforts to attend the event (Bob was admitted to hospital with severe pneumonia on the day).    The trophy winners of both categories are listed hereunder and all trophies will be presented at the Christmas Dinner on 13th December.

We can only run an event like this with a lot of help, and thanks must go to Bob Farrell and Lyle Taylor who co-ordinated the Concours and POO competitions and their judges.  Thanks also to the Girl Guides and Margie Berlemon for providing the marquee and Bill Berlemon and his team for erecting and dismantling.


CONCOURS                                                                      PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP

(Trophies to 1st,2nd & 3rd places)                                    (Trophies to 1st place only)

TR2/3/3A/3B     Harold Prince     Danny Buxallen           Wayne Byrne

TR4/4A/5          Richard Sutherland     Tony Rutter          David Lill

TR6                 John Sampson     Lyle Taylor                     Phil Senter

TR7/8               Steve Ferguson                                          Steve Ferguson

Spitfire/GT6                  No entry                                          David Widdrington

Stag                              No entry                                          No Entry

Saloon                          John Tuohy                                     Bill Berlemon

Herald                          No entry                                           Carolyn Meridew

Dolomite                       No entry                                          No entry

Modified                       No entry                                          No entry

Presidents Trophy                     Bob Cini

Michelotti Trophy                      Richard Sutherland

Harris Mann Trophy                  Steve Ferguson


Social Scene – November 2008

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

I am sure everyone joins me in passing on our condolences to Margie and family on the recent passing of her father.   Also we wish Bob Cini a full and speedy recovery from his recent bout of pneumonia.

The mid week run on 1st October saw 13 people partake of a very blustery drive through the hills to Hahndorf where we enjoyed lunch at the German Arms Hotel.   A few members went straight to the Hotel and joined us there.    Thanks to Peggy & Brian Argent for organising this day.

The Day of Triumph was held at Bonython Park this year and congratulations to those members who won trophies.    The trophies will be presented at the Christmas Dinner.   Thanks to all those people who assisted.

Thanks to David & Eva Treen for organising the run on 19th October which saw a large number of members enjoy a run through the southern vales, albeit a bit damp at times, to Myponga, where we had time to browse through the market before heading back to their home where we all enjoyed a BBQ lunch with salads provided by the Club and “yummy” desserts by Eva and David.

The final ladies lunch for this year is on Tuesday 11th November at Café Buongiorno at Mitcham.  Hope to see you there.

The run for the Tony Esau Memorial Trophy is on Sunday 16th November and there will be a Club sponsored BBQ at the destination.   This year’s run is set by Team Temby so come along, bring a clipboard and pen, table, chairs and drinks and enjoy a fun day out.  The winner of the trophy must be driving a Triumph.

The Christmas Dinner and Trophy Presentation is on Saturday 13th December at Royal Adelaide Golf Club, and payment in full is required by this month’s meeting please. The annual run to the Victory Hotel in December has had to be changed to Monday 29th December (advertised as Sunday 28th in Oct magazine) as the Hotel cannot accommodate us on the Sunday.   This has always been a very popular run and may the trend continue.

Please remember there will be no general meeting in December.


Tuesday 11th November   Ladies lunch, Café Buongiorno Mitcham 12.00noon

Sunday 16th November     Tony Esau Memorial Trophy run, meet 9.00am Oaklands Estate Reserve behind Driver Training School on Oaklands Road

Tuesday 18th November   General Meeting 8.00pm Sporting Car Club

Saturday 13th December  Christmas Dinner & Trophy Presentation Night Royal Adelaide Golf Club 6.30pm for 7.00pm

Monday 29th December   Run to Victory Hotel Sellicks Beach meet 10.45am Top carpark Windy Point

Tuesday 20thJanuary       Informal Meeting 8.00pm Sporting Car Club (coffee for the ladies)

Saturday 24th January     Fish ‘n’ Chips/Ice Cream Run meet 7.00pm Beaumont Rd (off Greenhill Rd)

NOVEMBER  BIRTHDAYS – Happy November birthday to Jean Boxall, Harry Prince and Alan Gold and all celebrating a birthday/special occasion this month.

Regards  Sue Gibson

Annual Christmas Dinner

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

2008 TSOA

Annual Christmas Dinner

& Trophy Presentation

Saturday 13th December 2008

6.30pm for 7.00pm

Royal Adelaide Golf Club

Tapleys Hill Road Seaton

Cost – $40.00 TSOA Members$50.00 Non Members

For further information please contact:

Sue Gibson 8449 7814 orMargie Berlemon 8365 3414

Bookings with full payment by the November meeting

Competition Report – November 2008

Saturday, November 1st, 2008


Participants enjoyed two competition events as part of the Rally program – a Sprint at the Morgan Park circuit near Warwick, and a Hill Climb at Mount Cotton, somewhere between the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Only two of the SA contingent saw fit to compete, these being Neil Martin in his newly acquired TR7-V8 (ex- Bob and Natalie Farrell) and yours truly in his GT6. Neil gets the prize for having a go, given that he drove his Trumpy there and back, as well as keenly contesting the Sprint, Regularity and Hillclimb events. My GT6 had the luxury of a trailer (and Cherri and I had the luxury of the Verada!) but when it came time to go, the GT6 just went!

Morgan Park is in interesting circuit comprising several combinations of track layout choices. At the last Qld Nationals, we had use of one of the short circuits on a mostly wet day, but this time around, we enjoyed the full long circuit and a fine day. Needless to say, it was a blast! Particularly the blind and very fast turn three that takes you left over a crest and under a bridge. I finally did it flat out in third on my last run of the day, but I must say that took some courage. The tight sections of the track before you come out onto the straight are also great – I think they call them the flip flops. The GT6 was just great through these tight right and left handed sections.

The Mount Cotton Hillclimb was also a great day. Owned by the Qld MG Club, these facilities have been improved significantly since my last visit here 15 years ago. The dusty and rugged track to get in to the property hasn’t changed however. It is an interesting Hillclimb in that some sections of the track are revisited in the opposite direction and, as the old saying goes, what goes up must come down. The steep climbing sections are followed by rapid descents and hairpin corners to test driver, brakes and handling. The fastest downhill section has a pit of peanut shells to catch anyone that can’t make the hairpin at the base. Only in Queensland!

Apart from all the eager National Rally participants who had a go at these events, it was great to see some Queenslanders come out as day entrants, in particular Simon Rhodes in a very well sorted and fast TR7V8 race car, and Roy Davis who brought out the ex-Dennis Hawkins GT6 for a go at the Hillclimb. This GT6 has been built into something of a hill climb special, with a 2.7 litre engine and a 5.1 ratio Nissan diff – very quick, and looked and sounded great as well. Brian Falloon in his white TR5 impressed as well, particularly at the Hillclimb where he wasn’t that far behind the full competition cars that were on sticky slicks etc. All in all, a great couple of days.


Neil Martin was at it again at the Austin 7 Club Regularity event on Oct 19th, once again in his newly acquired TR7V8. Clearly, Neil is going faster that he ever has, and it may take a little while for him to work out the consistency factor, but he did manage to rate 4th in the last run of the day.

Also held over the weekend of Oct 18th / 19th was the final round of the Victorian Circuit Racing Championships held at Phillip Island. Tom Hutchinson (TR8) qualified 4th behind two Lamborghini’s and a Porsche GT3, and in the three races finished 4th, 3rd (beat the Porsche) and 3rd (beat a Lambo) – not a bad result for an old Trumpy! Well done Tom.

The final round of the MSCA Super Sprint series was held on Sunday Oct 26th at Mallala, and on a windy but fine day, we witnessed some fresh interest from within the TSOA ranks – brothers Bruno (TR7V8) and Stephen (TR7) Franchi took to the track for their first sprint event and by the look of their faces at the end of the day, they will be back for some more fun next year. Neil Martin was also having a go – gee, I hope he doesn’t wear out his new toy too quickly! Peter Nelson left his TR8 dhc home again in favour of his MX5.


Peter NELSON            MX5                 1:26.61

Bruno FRANCHI          TR7V8             1:31.78

Neil MARTIN               TR7V8             1:33.91

Stephen FRANCHI      TR7                 1:42.10

My GT6 was home in the shed with all the components of a new engine ready for assembly. On return from Queensland, I needed to sort out a screeching noise from the clutch / gearbox area so removed the engine / gearbox for examination. I had noticed excessive oil leaks from around the sump, so thought, while it is out, I will drop off the sump and install a new gasket. Oh well, while the sump is off, maybe I should shine a light inside the engine and have a look? Just as well I did, as five cam lobes had crumbled. By the time I had inspected all components, a full rebuild was considered appropriate.

Even though I missed the last MSCA Sprint of the year, Trevor Lindsay and I are both looking forward to the last SCCSA race meeting of the year, being held as a Twilight Meeting on Saturday, 15th November.

And on a final note, some good news – the Dolomite is finally repaired and running and should be out for the All Triumph Rally for the Tony Esau Memorial Trophy on Sunday November 16th – will we see you there? See your TRak magazine or the website for information.

That’s enough from me . . . . see you trackside!


Girl Torque – November 2008

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Well girls the end of the year is fast approaching and just a reminder that the last “Technical lunch” is on November 11th at Café Buongiorno at Mitcham at 12.00noon.

The Christmas dinner is set for December the 13th – have you booked?

Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Margie Berlemon